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Conducive environment for investments:

Foreign Ministry goes for more bilateral trade

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will develop a proper framework to facilitate economic activities and accelerate economic development in the country.

Rohitha Bogollagama

Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama told Daily News Business that there is a conducive environment for investments in Sri Lanka.

With the dawn of peace the foreign investors’ confidence has increased. Earlier only two-thirds of the country had been open for investors and with the dawn of peace the whole country is now open for investments and other economic activities.

Our ministry will now go for more bilateral trade agreements with potential countries, loans and other aid, which will be instrumental to facilitate economic activities in the country. We need to build a proper framework to facilitate trade in the country. We are working closely with the BOI and other institutes and business chambers to facilitate trade in Sri Lanka, he said.

The Ministry is focusing more on the Middle East region for bilateral trade agreements. Sri Lanka has bilateral trade agreements with India and Pakistan.

Today Sri has become the gateway to many markets through these trade agreements. The Middle East is a lucrative region for Sri Lanka to expand its economic activities. There is a huge potential for projects in agriculture and processed food in the region, he said.

The Ministry has also made arrangements to remove travel advisories imposed by certain countries to facilitate the tourism industry. There has been a positive response from the envoys of these countries, which is a good sign for Sri Lanka tourism, the minister said. Sri Lankan missions abroad are also promoting Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for investments and promoting Sri Lanka tourism. China, India and the Middle East markets are potential markets to promote tourism.

The Ministry will also attract infrastructure development projects to the country and enhance air links to facilitate economic activities, he said.

Attracting foreign investments has become a challenge during an economic crisis in the world. However, the global economic crisis has a bigger impact on the western world and Sri Lanka needs to focus on other countries when attracting foreign investments, he said.


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